Prevent Blindness, the United Nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety nonprofit organization, has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month in an effort to educate parents and caregivers on ways to keep children’s eyes healthy. As many kids are headed back to school in the month of August, Prevent Blindness offers free resources including fact sheets and social media graphics in English and Spanish, toolkits, and webpages on a variety of topics, including myopia (nearsightedness), amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), eye safety in relation to digital screen time, importance of vision screenings, financial assistance programs, and much more.
Additionally, Prevent Blindness is debuting a new episode in the online Focus on Eye Health Expert Series, “Children’s Vision and Eye Health.” Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, interviews R.V. Paul Chan, MD, MSC, MBA, FACS, Head, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The John H. Panton Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and Director, Pediatric Retina and Retinopathy of Prematurity Service, Illinois Eye and Ear, UI Health. Dr. Chan is also a volunteer member of the Prevent Blindness Board of Directors.
And, as part of the Focus on Eye Health Expert series, Michael F. Chiang, MD, Director of the National Eye Institute (NEI), recently spoke with Jeff Todd about children’s vision and eye health initiatives of the NEI.
On Aug. 22, 2023 at 7 p.m. ET, a new episode dedicated to the discussion of Progressive Myopia from the “Seeing Eye to Eye: Celebrating Eye Health” Facebook Live series from Blackdoctor.org will be held. The episode will feature Terri L. Young, MD, MBA, FARVO, the Peter A. Duehr Endowed Professor and Chairwoman of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Afua Oteng Asare, OD, PhD, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Utah. This series is a partnership with Blackdoctor.org, Prevent Blindness, the National Eye Institute, and the Children’s Vision Equity Alliance.
In advance of the upcoming solar eclipses on Oct. 14, 2023, and April 8, 2024, Prevent Blindness offers the “Solar Eclipse Viewing Party Family and Children’s Toolkits,” available free for download. The toolkits contain fun ideas and activities for children to learn about eclipses and about the importance of eye safety while viewing them.
The recording of the 2023 Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Summit discussion, “Reimagining How We Engage Communities from Identification into Care – Children and Adults,” is now available. The session was moderated by Tami Garcia, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin President and CEO.
Also available in August will be the new “Association Between Vision and Learning” fact sheet from the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH). The fact sheet is specifically designed for educational organizations and associations, including local and state school boards.
“For 115 years, we’ve made it our mission to ensure that children have access to the eyecare they need,” said Todd. “By working as a team with parents, our program partners, and allied healthcare personnel, we help children take their first steps toward a lifetime of healthy vision.”
For general information on children’s eye health and safety, go to https://preventblindness.org/your-childs-sight/. For information on the NCCVEH and its variety of programs, visit https://nationalcenter.preventblindness.org/. Vision care financial assistance resources in English and Spanish may also be found at: https://preventblindness.org/vision-care-financial-assistance-information/.